The Frenchgate Centre (Formerly Arndale Centre & Whitehouse Centre) is a large shopping centre located in the town centre of Doncaster, South Yorkshire. It is named after the street of the same name that formed one of the old gates of medieval Doncaster.
The centre has been the heart of the town for over 40 years and was originally called the Arndale Centre because it was built, owned and managed by the Arndale Group. It was renamed in 1988 after a change of ownership, with the new name reflecting the name of the street which passes to the east of the centre and which is one of Doncaster's main shopping streets.
The sale of the centre came just a year after the Frenchgate had undergone a £200 (GBP) million facelift to transform it into the country's first shopping centre with integrated public transport and retail interchange.
Before the change of name from Arndale to Frenchgate Centre, the centre was home to a controversial statue entitled 'The Lovers', which depicted a naked couple in a passionate embrace and which was the subject of many complaints from mothers who claimed that it was not appropriate for young children to see.
In 2004 the Northern Bus Station and Gresley House, which were located on the northern side of Trafford Way, the road that passed round the northern side of the Frenchgate Centre, and where the rear entrance and service areas were located, were demolished to make way for a new Transport interchange and extension to the Frenchgate Centre. As part of this project the centre also received a major multi-million pound refurbishment, incorporating the centre into the new transport interchange. During the building of the extension, which involved building a tunnel over Trafford Way, part of the tunnel collapsed, severely injuring one of the building workers from the site.
The extension and transport interchange opened to the public on 8 June 2006.
The transport interchange is located beneath the 2007 extension to the shopping centre, adjacent to the railway station. All bus services serving Doncaster town centre operate to/from or via the interchange.
The interchange has three concourses A,B and C with 30 stands split between them.
On top of this, there is a direct link to the Doncaster railway station from the Interchange, connecting Bus, Coach & Train in one place. From Stop A1, there are many direct buses to/from the new Robin Hood Airport, approx. 8 miles (13 km) from Doncaster Town Centre (with all services taking approximately 25 minutes).
There is also a multi-storey car park above the shopping centre, such that the shopping levels are between the bus station and the car park. The first 3/4 levels of parking are short stay, maintained by the centre, and the top 2 are long stay, for train users, and are maintained by Virgin Trains East Coast. This long stay car park replaced the strip car park that was behind Gresley House alongside the rail line.